Wisconsin vs. Vermont

Because your humble scribe is neither a Wisconsinite nor a liberal progressive, he cheerfully concedes the intellectual high ground to those who claim it.

Progressives are-as they patiently explain it to us conservative dullards-the genetically endowed naturally brighter 10 percent who have accepted the burden. Rudyard Kipling called it "the white man's burden", but that's a subject I'll avoid by claiming a shortage of column inches here.

It must be tough governing us folks in the genetically deprived dimmer 90 percent, so I have to envy the brainpower needed to invent the really sharp label of the cheddarsphere as shorthand for their Netroots communications "cloud" across the "uppity" and "blue" 30th state, where the motto is Forward.

Now, the predominantly progressive public-employee educators of the cheddarsphere are on a "job action" (ya gotta envy the superior linguistic skills) for which they have closed classrooms, called in sick, and claimed that it's all for the children. I'm not as far over on the right-hand side of the I.Q. curve as these folks-and I just can't grasp how a money argument (pensions and health care) proves that they love their students.

Your scribe isn't a highly skilled historian either. He remembers strikes by such unions as carbuilders and railroaders, longshoremen and steelworkers, but no instance where strikers proclaimed their love for, say, locomotives or blast-furnaces-and not one where they proclaimed their own excellence, as educators now do (examples: Vermont State Education Commissioner Vilaseca, Rutland School Superintendent Moran) even though the actual statistics tell a different story.

None of the above industries demonstrates a 60 percent product-deficiency rate comparable to that shown by public education in the federal achievement tests scores-where about two thirds of all public-school students can't make proficient. Basically, the students can't function at grade level.

It is the job of teachers to get the kiddies to-at least-grade level. That's what my teachers did for me, and all my two-dozen-plus classmates, long ago; they never once self-labeled themselves as excellent even though they were.

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